iOS update frozen on iPhone and iPad? Here's the fix!

iOS has a lot of great features but in order to enjoy them you need to update. If your iPhone or iPad won't finish downloading, gets stuck while installing, or won't turn back on after it's turned off, don't worry. There are several things you can try to get it going again!

1. Hard reset

Resetting is a cliche because it works. Sometimes bits get stuck and there's nothing like hitting reset to get them going again.

  1. Press and hold down both the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time.
  2. Keep them held down until you see an Apple logo.
  3. Let go.

Once your iPhone or iPad has rebooted, wait and see. If it finishes updating, you're good. If not, or if it won't reboot, go on to the next step.

2. Plug into a wall outlet

This sounds silly but it's worked for some people: plug in. It's possible that, during the install process, your iPhone or iPad dipped below a critical power level and that's why it's gotten finicky. Find an outlet or USB port, plug in, and wait 10-15 minutes. Then, see if it resumes and try a hard reset to make sure.

If it goes back to working, great. If not, keep reading!

3. Restore in iTunes

If you've been backing up the way you should, you can restore your iPhone or iPad in iTunes. First try doing it the normal way and, if that doesn't work, go for recovery or DFU mode.

You'll need to restore from an iTunes or iCloud backup to get all your content back onto your iPhone or iPad, but once done, you'll be good to go. If even that doesn't work, you have one more things to try...

4. Go to Apple

Sometimes hardware or software picks update time to fail. If that's the case and you live close to an Apple retail store. If you don't live close to an Apple Store, give 1-800-MY-APPLE a call instead.

Your tips?

If you've found another way to get your update working, let me know in the comments. If one of these methods worked, let me know that too!

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.